Net Neutrality Net Equality Connect InternetWASHINGTON, D.C. (September 2, 2015):  The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), the National Urban League, and 15 other national and regional civil rights, professional, intergovernmental, and community-based organizations filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission in support of the Commission’s efforts to modernize the Lifeline program to include subsidized access to high-speed broadband.  The filing’s 17 signators (collectively, “Lifeline Supporters”), representing tens of thousands of diverse voices across the nation, also include the NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Rainbow PUSH Coalition, among others.

The Lifeline program, established in 1985 to help low-income Americans access essential communications services they could not otherwise afford, currently covers landline telephones only and offers just one subsidy per household.  As the FCC has acknowledged, the telecommunications landscape is changing, with more households discontinuing landline telephone service and opting for mobile and broadband connections which have become essential factors toward success in today’s digital economy.  In addition to supporting the Commission’s efforts at modernizing the Lifeline program to include a subsidy for broadband Internet service, the Lifeline Supporters urged the agency to change the “one-per-household” rule to “one-per-adult” to accommodate household sharing trends among impoverished families (with multiple, unrelated adults living in one household) in order to ensure these individuals will qualify for the Lifeline program. [click to continue…]

Today, MMTC, along with 50 CEOs of minority-owned AM licensees who collectively own 140 AM radio stations across the nation, filed a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission to open an FM translator filing window that is limited to AM licensees.  The full text of the letter is below:

Radio DeeJay - Politic365August 31, 2015

Hon. Tom Wheeler
Chairman
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554

Re:     AM Radio Revitalization, MB Docket No. 13-249

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

For 65 years, AM radio has been the technological gateway for entrepreneurs of color in broadcasting. Two-thirds of minority-owned broadcast stations are AM radio stations. As minority AM broadcast owners, we want nothing more than to improve our service to listeners. Thus, we appreciate your commitment to advance the long-pending AM Revitalization proceeding.

Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that you are considering a reversal of course regarding the most important, effective proposal set forth in the AM Revitalization Notice: opening an application filing window for FM translators that would be limited to AM broadcast licensees. As the Commission recognized in the Notice, the best way to help the largest number of AM stations to quickly and efficiently improve their service is to open such an AM-only window. Any other approach will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for AM stations, including many of our own, to obtain the translators they urgently need to remain competitive and provide our communities with the service they deserve. [click to continue…]

On August 26, MMTC, along with 25 other national civil rights and public interest organizations, filed the following letter with the Federal Communications Commission, urging the Commission to adopt multilingual EAS rules that could save lives in times of crisis.

August 26, 2015

RE:   Review of the Emergency Alert System (EB Docket No. 04-296); Recommendations of the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks (EB Docket 06-119)

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will be August 29, 2015.  The days leading up to, during, and after this natural disaster demonstrated the importance of multilingual emergency communications.  For the over 100,000 Louisianans not proficient in English, their world went dark that day and remained that way for many days.  These residents were unable to get answers to questions such as, “Where do I go to find shelter?” “How can I find my children?” and “Is the water safe to drink?”  For the terrified multitude taking refuge on rooftops as the water rose, there was often little hope for survival.

The penalty for an adult’s or child’s lack of English proficiency must never be death.

In many cities with large Latino, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese communities, few or no stations are broadcasting in those languages.  When Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans in 2005, the city’s only Spanish language station was damaged and could not return to the air for eight critical days.  During those eight days, over 100,000 Latinos had no landline service, no cellular telephony, no television, no radio, and no print media in their language.  The city’s Vietnamese communities also went dark and many of these residents had no means to communicate their need for medical assistance.  In a time of desperate need, finding medical facilities, shelter, food, and potable water was a matter of life and death for tens of thousands who were not fluent in English.  [click to continue…]

MMTC Co-Founder and President Emeritus David Honig wrote the following op-ed that appeared in Multichannel News this week, in response to former FCC official Adonis Hoffman’s post, “Don’t Hate the Players, Hate the Game,” criticizing the DE program. The original post is available here.

Designated Entity BidOn Aug. 10, my colleague and former Federal Communications Commission official Adonis Hoffman wrote for Multichannel News a commentary with a catchy title: “Don’t Hate the Players, Hate the Game.” Respectfully, Hoffman really missed the mark.

Hoffman maintains that the outcome of the recent AWS-3 auction, in which two minority-controlled partnerships with Dish Network secured $3 billion in bidding credits, was the result of poor FCC auction design. We don’t know yet if that’s true, because the FCC’s ruling is almost certain to be reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  So the fair thing for all of us to do is hold our fire, and in the meantime do our best to preserve and strengthen the program.

Bidding credits were part of Congress’ plan in 1993 when it gave the FCC spectrum auction authority. To ensure meaningful small business participation, the FCC created the Designated Entity (“DE”) program, which lets firms owned by people of color compete in the highly competitive, capital-intensive commercial wireless marketplace. Famously, T-Mobile began as a DE and, through innovation and investment, grew into one of the nation’s top four wireless carriers.  [click to continue…]

Forbes is looking for entrepreneurs for its Thirty Under 30 list, focusing on social entrepreneurs who are motivated by faith to change the world around them. MMTC is helping to spread the word and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to win $100,000. Forbes’s information on the entry process is below. Please help us spread the word!

Hello friends,

Do you know social entrepreneurs who are motivated by their faith and working with humility to change the world around them? Invite them to apply to the Forbes’ Under 30 Change the World Competition! Submissions are due no later than August 26.

 

With support from the John Templeton Foundation, Echoing Green and Values Partnerships are managing the “Faith Entrepreneur Prize” category of the Forbes Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition. We are looking for social entrepreneurs who are motivated by faith to change the world around them. Faith must be integral to their work and mission. The “Faith Entrepreneur Prize” is open to people of all faith traditions and backgrounds.

 

The winner of the Faith Entrepreneur Prize will receive $100,000 USD to support his/her organization. The Faith Entrepreneur Prize winner will then compete onstage at the Forbes Under 30 Summit on October 6th in Philadelphia with winners from six other program categories, in front of 2,000 world-class mentors and the best young entrepreneurs and game-changers in the world. The overall winner will receive a grand prize of at least $400,000 USD in additional cash and in-kind support, bringing their award total to at least $500,000 USD, and the overall award total to $1,000,000 USD.

 

The competition is designed for social entrepreneurs under 30 who have disruptive and scalable ideas that address global challenges. The funders of the other finalists are philanthropist Bob Duggan and the Case, Schusterman, Pratt, and Keywell Foundations.

 

Eligibility and Criteria

 

The Faith Entrepreneur Prize will reward a young leader who has created or provided transformative leadership to an organization that is changing the world around them. This person might have created an organization that could grow into the next World Vision, American Islamic Congress, Repair the World, International Justice Mission, Science for Monks and Interfaith Youth Core or has provided transformative senior leadership within an existing organization. While these examples are predominantly based in the U.S., applicants from around the world are welcome and eligible to apply.

 

Eligibility:

 

Active social entrepreneurs who are under the age of 30 at the time of the competition (i.e., born after October 6, 1985) and are founders, co-founders, or top executives of their organizations.
Applicants from anywhere in the world (entry must be submitted in English).
Those who are actively engaged in a social enterprise—this is not a business plan contest, but one that will reward and accelerate those who are currently making a difference.
Only U.S. nonprofits, as well as organizations outside the U.S. that operate for charitable purposes [Note: this is different from the broader competition, which is open to both nonprofit and for-profit social entrepreneurs].
Must be able to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from October 5-6, 2015 for the Forbes’ Under 30 Summit.

How to Submit

 

Visit https://herox.com/Under30 to read more and click Submit Entry or nominate a friend.

Deadlines

The application period is officially open! Submissions will be accepted until 11:59PM EST on August 26, 2015 but we encourage you to submit as soon as possible. The Templeton Foundation will announce the winner of the “Faith Entrepreneur Prize” on September 9, 2015, and the overall winner will be announced at the Forbes’ Under 30 Summit on October 6, 2015.

How can I help?

 

Nominate people using this link and spread the word about the competition far and wide using email and social media! Below are sample promotional materials to post on social media. Invite your community, congregations and networks to apply or recommend someone they know!

 

Sample Social Media Posts

 

Do you know a young leader of a faith-based nonprofit who is changing the world? Have them apply for the Forbes Under 30 $1 Million Change the World Competition! With support from the John Templeton Foundation, Echoing Green and Values Partnerships are facilitating a prize for faith entrepreneurs, as part of Forbes’ Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition, a global social impact challenge for young people with game-changing ideas. The winner of the Faith Entrepreneurship Prize will receive $100,000 cash and be eligible to compete for $400K more in cash and in-kind support. Visit the competition website to learn more—and be sure to apply by August 26: https://herox.com/Under30 @HeroX @templeton_fdn

 

Are you a faith-based social entrepreneur having an impact in your community, your nation, or around the world? With support from the John Templeton Foundation, Echoing Green and Values Partnerships will manage a prize for faith entrepreneurs, as part of Forbes’ Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition, a global social impact challenge for young people with game-changing ideas. The winner of the Faith Entrepreneurship Prize will receive $100,000 cash and be eligible to compete for $400K more in cash and in-kind support. Visit the competition website to learn more—and be sure to apply by August 26: https://herox.com/Under30 @HeroX @templeton_fdn

 

Calling all faith-based social entrepreneurs! Apply to win $100k for your org and appear on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list: https://herox.com/Under30@templeton_fdn

 

Official Graphics
Facebook share
Email header

 

 

Thanks for sharing, and best of luck to all who submit! We look forward to congratulating the winner!

 

Joshua DuBois and Scott Buckhout
Values Partnerships

Multicultural Entrepreneurs on Computers

This week, the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) will host a Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop focusing on private sector business opportunities for small-minority and women-owned businesses.
OCBO has invited representatives from telecommunications and technology firms from across the country to discuss their organizations’ contracting procedures and to provide insight on how small businesses should navigate the procurement process generally.
 

FCC Headquarters
Commission Meeting Room
445 12th Street, SW,Washington, D.C. on
Thursday, August 20, 2015
9:00 am – 4:30 pm 

 
The morning session runs from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and consists of a panel composed of supplier executives and diversity officers from some of the nation’s leading companies, including: Ed Roach, Cox Communications; L. Jay Burks, Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity, Comcast NBCUniversal; Natalie Robinson, Director of Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity, CBS Television Corp., Eugene Agee, Vice President, Supplier Diversity, Sprint; Alithia Bruinton, Supplier Diversity Manager, AT&T; Fernando Hernandez, Director of Supplier Diversity, Microsoft; and Sharon Pinder, President and CEO, Capital Region Minority Supplier Diversity Council.

Joining the supplier diversity officers on the panel are several suppliers to some of those companies, including Tonee Bel, President, A Unity System; Charles Harrell, President, The IT Architect Corporation; and others. The panelists will discuss their companies’ contracting needs and how small businesses can distinguish themselves in the race for lucrative opportunities. Thomas Reed, Director, OCBO, and Dr. Ronald Johnson, President, Solutions4Change, and Treasurer, MMTC, will co-moderate.

 

Following the morning panel session, from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, OCBO will coordinate one-on-one sessions between panelists and small business owners who wish to participate. In these confidential meetings, small business owners will get individualized advice on supplier strategies and information on current contracting opportunities. If you would like to register for the afternoon meetings, please submit a company profile no later than Friday, August 14, 2015, via email at Karen.Beverly@fcc.gov or submit a hard copy to OCBO at 445 12th Street SW, Room 4-A635, Washington, D.C. 20554.

 

All persons interested in attending this informative event in person are asked to register by contacting OCBO at (202) 418-0990 or via e-mail at OCBOinfo@fcc.gov. Persons interested in participating via the Internet may do so by logging on to www.fcc.gov/ocbo.

 

This event will be streamed live. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. The request should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and contact information. Please provide as much advance notice as possible; last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), or 202-418-0432 (TTY).

 

You can also follow the FCC on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FCC and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/FCC.

 

CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS
AT&T
CAPITAL REGION MINORITY SUPPLIER DIVERSITY COUNCIL
CBS TELEVISION CORP.
COX COMMUNICATIONS
COMCAST NBCUNIVERSAL
MICROSOFT CORPORATION
SOLUTIONS4CHANGE
SPRINT
THE IT ARCHITECT CORPORATION
A UNITY SYSTEM

 

On July 15, 2015 MMTC’s Board passed Five Principles for Civil Discourse, which MMTC pledges to follow through heightened prescreening of media and social media content. MMTC invites other organizations to implement these Five Principles in their public advocacy and dialogue as well. The related Board resolution is available here.

Civil Discourse

 

The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council’s Five Principles of Civil Discourse

In today’s fast-paced Internet Age, civility often takes a backseat to rhetoric.  Social media tools provide an environment for overzealous advocates to generate vicious, sometimes anonymous, personal attacks against those who do not share the same position.  An organization serving communities of color should never engage in gutter-level attacks against those with whom it disagrees.  Rhetorical assaults that divide communities of color diminish the value of our voices on important issues of telecommunications, Internet, and other social justice policy and have no place in civil discourse.

Only a small number of organizations represent communities of color, and the continuing battle to advance civil rights needs the full and unencumbered efforts of each of them.  The differences of opinion among these organizations are much narrower than the differences that exist between these organizations and their ideological adversaries.  Therefore, all of those serving communities of color must agree to disagree on issues where their opinions might not align, while coming together on those issues where they share a common goal. [click to continue…]

The following resolution was passed at the semi-annual meeting of the MMTC Board of Directors, held on July 15, 2015, in Washington, DC. MMTC’s Board also passed Five Principles for Civil Discourse, which MMTC pledges to follow through heightened prescreening of media and social media content. MMTC invites other organizations to implement these Five Principles in their public advocacy and dialogue as well. The Five Principles are available here.

A Public Apology to Alex Nogales, National Hispanic Media Coalition,
and the MMTC Community for Erroneous BBSJ Post

WHEREAS, on Thursday, May 7, 2015, MMTC staff posted online and distributed by email an op-ed in its Broadband and Social Justice weblog authored by Rob Atkinson that had appeared in the March 2015 issue of The Innovation Files, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s (ITIF) blog.  The op-ed, which was about net neutrality and the digital divide, attempted to use the memory of Cesar Chavez to disparage National Hispanic Media Coalition President and former MMTC Advisory Board member Alex Nogales.

WHEREAS, the post was re-published in error, without having been subjected to the appropriate internal editorial review, the post and all links and references to it were immediately removed. However, and regrettably, recipients of the emailed version of the post were not notified of the error.  Further, on Friday, May 8, 2015, MMTC’s President and CEO Kim Keenan, upon being notified of the post, immediately sent a written apology to Mr. Nogales, who served on MMTC’s Advisory Board, expressing her apology and how much MMTC values our three decades-long relationship with NHMC and with Alex personally.  Shortly thereafter, and despite additional verbal apologies to Mr. Nogales and attempts by MMTC’s CEO and COO to resolve the matter with him directly, Mr. Nogales announced his resignation from the MMTC Board of Advisors. MMTC issued a press release and published a formal apology to Mr. Nogales on May 20, 2015, in our BBSJ weblog and on the MMTC website: http://broadbandandsocialjustice.org/2015/05/mmtc-on-resignation-of-advisory-board-member-alex-nogales/; http://mmtconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/MMTC-Press-Statement-Resignation-of-Advisory-Board-Member-Alex-Nogales.pdf.  Unfortunately, however, this apology was not emailed to the subscribers of the Broadband and Social Justice newsletter.  As a result of this incident, MMTC staff have now established a more rigorous internal review process for all external content, called “Principles of Engagement,” which will govern best practices for content published by MMTC and by others who sign on to the Principles.  [click to continue…]

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 7, 2015):  On August 6, 2015, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) filed an amicus curiae brief asking the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the FCC’s Open Internet Order reclassifying broadband Internet access service as a Title II public utility service.  MMTC challenged the Commission’s disregard for the adverse consequences that Title II reclassification will have on accelerating broadband opportunities for unserved and underserved communities.

“MMTC supports the FCC’s actions to protect and promote an open Internet.  We, along with more than 45 national civil rights, social service, and professional organizations, as part of the proceedings, outlined our concern about the consequences of imposing antiquated rules on 21st century opportunities for disadvantaged communities,” stated Kim M. Keenan, MMTC’s President and CEO.  “Our brief speaks for those communities that are on the wrong or unconnected side of the digital divide.  Broadband access is tantamount to the creation of net equality for historically disadvantaged populations. America cannot afford to leave any community behind.”

MMTC further stated in the brief that the FCC’s decision to reclassify broadband Internet as a public utility service will negatively impact both investment and innovation in broadband, thwarting the introduction of creative new service offerings and choices, such as ad-supported packages and zero-rate products, that could address disparities in the affordability of broadband for low-income consumers.  MMTC also highlighted how the impact of Title II on wireless investments could serve to widen, rather than narrow, the digital divide for communities that have been heavily reliant on these services.

“The FCC is obligated to serve the public interest and consider all Americans and relevant factors in their rulemakings,” Keenan stated.  “The FCC’s failure to address the adverse impact of its Order on the digitally disadvantaged is why MMTC believes the decision is arbitrary and capricious and should be vacated.”
[click to continue…]

AT&T’s Charlene Lake, Hip Hop Legend MC Lyte, among
NUL “Women of Power” Honorees

Women of Power Awards Luncheon at the 2015 National Urban League Conference at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center,  Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Saturday, August 1, 2015. (Photo by Glenda Jones )

Pictured (from left to right): CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller; NUL Board Chair Michael Neidorff; AT&T’s Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability; and NUL President and CEO Marc Morial.

Last week, the National Urban League held its annual conference, “Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs & Justice” in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at which it presented its “Women of Power Awards” to some of the nation’s emerging and groundbreaking leaders for their outstanding contributions in the areas of arts, politics, journalism, justice, and sports.

This year’s awardees were Hip Hop Legend, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist Lana “MC Lyte” MoorerCharlene Lake, Senior Vice President Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, AT&T; Hon. Rosie Rios,Treasurer, U.S. Department of the Treasury; U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson; Dr. Valerie Thompson, President and CEO, Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, Association of Executives President, and National Urban League Trustee; and Lisa Borders, Chairman, Coca-Cola Foundation, and Coca Cola Company Vice President of Global Community Connections.  CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller presented the awards, along with NUL President and CEO Marc Morial and NUL Board Chair Michael Neidorff.

Below is an except from remarks made by Women of Power awardee, Charlene Lake, AT&T’s SVP of Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer:

“Thank you Michael, Marc and Michelle. I’m humbled to accept this honor amidst so many amazing women, including those of you in the audience. I want to share with you the 3 pieces of advice my mother gave me when she told me she wanted me to grow up to be a strong and independent woman.

First, she said that all my power and all my strength would be allowed only through my Creator. So make Him a priority. Second, she said, to never depend on a man out of necessity, but only by choice. And finally, she said to get strength by giving strength.  When you help someone, you make her stronger, you make her community stronger, you make yourself stronger. She would never know that that last piece of advice embodies the spirit of the organization I’m so proud to serve — The National Urban League.

I want to thank my company, AT&T, for being an unrelenting and passionate supporter of women and people of color — inside and outside the company. I want to thank my husband, who I’ve CHOSEN every day for 30 years. And I especially want to thank Marc and Michelle, for inspiring all of us to use our power to Save our Cities.

Thank you all…and please remember…Don’t Text and Drive.  Whatever it is…it can wait.”

MMTC congratulates NUL, Charlene Lake, and all of these inspiring women for their hard work, success, and advocacy, as they have worked to blaze trails for new roads for women everywhere!